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A special gift for the struggling in Michigan

Paloma Barcelo

Here at our Family International Southeast Michigan chapter, fellow missionaries and I had noticed the effects of homelessness in the community growing for sometime. Over the last few years more families have moved out of the neighborhoods here in Michigan. Families with children account for 38% of the homeless population. We felt that though each situation was unique and so many needs were beyond us, there was a need that we could fill – that of friendship and faith.

We decided to put together a one-hour program of songs and Bible stories for the twenty children whose families we knew were facing financial hardship. Activated Ministries generously agreed to sponsor the children’s book Jesus and Me, as well as coloring books for each child. The program was very appreciated by the children, but the highlight was definitely the books we left with them. Little faces lit up at the mention of a gift. New toys and books are one of the things that go first when there are financial struggles and receiving them was extra special for these kids.

A mother came up to us after the program ended and hugged us tightly, saying “My husband and I really appreciate this. You’ve made our children so happy today! You don’t know how much this means to us!” Their children – two adorable little girls of six and four and a three week baby boy – had been easy to spot. The girls had stood on their chairs singing along and copying the simple motions we’d done. When we gave them each their gift they quickly offered to share in case there wasn’t enough to go around. We assured them there was enough and enjoyed seeing each girl’s delight at having something new to call her own.

Thanks to Activated Ministries we were able to leave each child with a gift to remind them that there is still hope and love in the world.